Fancy hosting your own Wine Tasting?

Many people consider this but not many take the plunge just because they have the impression it would be a difficult event to organise. The guests are the most important thing and if it’s a tasting in your home then all friends could be made welcome as you know what they’re like and how serious to make things. Always consider a theme such as Italian Reds or Spanish Whites or even more precisely such as Argentinian 2008 Malbec’s or Australian 2006 Shiraz’s.

The equipment needed is fairly basic in that you’d require a spittoon to spit your unwanted mouthfuls into plus around 2 to 6 wine tasting glasses per person. To make a tasting worthwhile, it’s usually best to concentrate on at least 4 to 6 different wines and in this way, the variety of different flavours should encourage some discussion. Once a theme for the event has been set then the quality of the wines should be decided upon and unless you are being extremely generous, a cost per person, in order to cover the expenditure on the various wines can be set and this is usually very reasonable unless very expensive wines are to be tasted.

The standard 21.5cl ISO wine tasting glass is the normal glass used for such tastings and seems to be the favoured choice of all the wine organisations, wine companies and wine clubs the world over. This simple little glass is usually found in clear glass but can also be obtained in black, to be utilised for ‘blind’ tastings where the taster has therefore no idea at all of what is within the glass and has to rely solely on his or her senses to decide on the identification of the wine.  If you consider that there are around 6 good glasses of wine per bottle then this going to be way too much for general tastings. Each bottle can be used for up to 12 to 18 fairly generous ‘pours’ which is all you’ll need for tasting purposes.

A jug of water should be made available with a water glass for each taster simply for cleansing and refreshing the palate after each wine and the water can also be used for rinsing out the tasting glass should glasses be in short supply. This is also where the spittoon comes in handy for depositing the dregs! Another way of freshening the mouth between wines is to have a plate of crackers or wafers at hand and this steadies your taste buds in readiness for the next wine.

If you’re serious about your wine tastings then some sort of score card or notepad would be useful but in many home tasting sessions just the wine related discussion on each taste and aroma is sufficient and the more wines you taste the livelier these tend to become, especially if the spittoon is not being used!!

What do you need for a Wine Tasting?




ISO style glasses (21.5cl) – ideally between two to six per person

Wine Spittoons / Ice Buckets


Have fun, enjoy and taste responsibly!!